Stay Away From Dreamhost

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 27, 2008
Updated • Sep 26, 2017

The following article explains why it is a good idea to research potential web hosting companies before making business with them. This is a real story. You might have noticed that the Grand Effect toolbar spilled out 404 errors. I removed the toolbar from top after checking with the main website to find out that it was unreachable (Site Temporarily Unavailable).

I quickly contacted Sarah Perez who is in charge of the website and she told me the following. Her websites are all hosted at Dreamhost, and the company closed down the account because of disputing credit card charges which Sarah had nothing to do with.

Now the funny thing is that you can only get the Dreamhost account access back if you send them a money order or check by postal mail for the amount of the chargebacks. The mail goes to a postbox address that Dreamhost seems to check twice a week.

Imagine that. You are a business owner and need your website and they check the frigging postbox twice a week adding to the waiting time.

Support is unreachable it seems. She put in four support tickets and one complaint and tried to phone them but is only getting voicemail. She cannot reach them no matter what she tries.

I hope everything sorts out soon. Things like that can throw a business back several months.

I wonder why all those companies shoot first. It would be so much better if they at least tried to contact the owner of the account before going on a rampage.

We had our fair share of horror stories as well in the decade or so that Ghacks has been online. Our hosting got suspended by Godaddy for instance because of too much traffic, and things calmed down only after we moved to our own server.

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Stay Away From Dreamhost
The following article explains why it is a good idea to research potential web hosting companies before making business with them.
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  1. NJS said on September 10, 2008 at 6:16 am

    Use OFF55 to get $55 off any Dreamhost Plan.

  2. henrique said on August 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    i`m a former dreamhost customer. had a basic plan, they started going offline TOO much, kind of forced me to go to a private server that simply didn’t work. my blog stayed offline for 6 days, until i could reimport all stuff to media temple. now things are working fine.

  3. Simonne said on August 27, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Dreamhost is great if you ignore the several days interruptions they experience once or twice a year. Unfortunately, I’ve also got my account suspended without prior notice, despite the fact that my hosting was paid in advance for a whole year. They said I crashed their server and they don’t want me as a client anymore.

  4. HEL said on August 27, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Dreamhost has been great. The feature set is tops and, believe it or not, their support wiki has NEVER failed to provide me an answer I needed. Not once.

    I’m not sure I understand “disputed charges” that the site owner had “nothing to do with”. What does that even mean? Did she borrow someone’s CC to pay her hosting bill? I don’t understand the premise of the issue and how it doesn’t fall squarely on the owner. That doesn’t excuse bad CS, but being upset about an issue that is wholly your responsibility is a little unfair in my book.

    If someone doesn’t pay me/disputes my bill, I’m not inclined to provide MORE services to them while they continue to not pay me. I don’t think there’s any malice behind it, just simply business.

    Regardless, it’s all hearsay as far as external parties are concerned. I’m happy with DH. Extremely so. They’ve already got my renewal for another few years.

  5. Martin said on August 27, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    General: Every webhost is fine until you run into problems. This is where you find out if the host is run by a good team that tries to find a solution without hurting anybody’s business or if they run a zero tolerance policy.

    So, while your experience might be nice it could very well be that this will change once you run into problems.

    I’m not saying that there are no happy customers. I’m just saying that this should not be happening the way it is.

    1. The story is vague because I’m not the affected party here and I do not want to reveal all the information I have. what if the did

    2. Semantics

    3. Because she has other things to do than to find yet another number where a person might be that might help her.. or not.

    4. –

    5. Well there are good ways to solve those problem and bad ways. Bad ways make you lose customers because of your actions, good ways increase the bond between company and customers. Which do you prefer?

  6. stasi said on August 27, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    A few things here..

    1. The story seems awfully vague. No details are provided as to the ‘credit card dispute’. Clearly, if she provided a credit card to pay for her service, would it not make sense to contact the issuing bank of that credit card and find out if in fact any dispute was issued from their side?

    2. Contacting support can often be somewhat difficult. In this case, she would need to contact ‘Billing’, not ‘Support’.

    3. If Dreamhost ‘Support’ wasn’t getting the job done, why wouldn’t Sarah work her way up the ladder and if necessary contact the CEO. His contact info is all over the web, there’s no excuse there.

    4. Seems like another quick rant to bash another legitimate host without any real details as to what happened.

    5. Generally speaking, if you’re on a ‘shared’ plan with a web host, I wouldn’t blame them for taking their time to resolve the issue. After all, people run company’s for revenue.

  7. Greg said on August 27, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Just for reference, a few months ago, I switched from 1&1 to a2webhosting, and it’s been a positive experience. A little bit more expensive, but way more features and support that has gone WAY beyond my expectations. Check ’em out!

  8. Sridhar Katakam said on August 27, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Dan: Check out Looks like the author of that blog fits your description of adoring one’s webhost.

    By the way, I have been using DreamHost for almost 3 years with no major issues.

  9. Dan said on August 27, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I’ve also been with Dreamhost for about 2 years. So far so good, but I haven’t leaned on them much, so I’m not in the best position to judge. I do like the humor in their monthly newsletter. It surprises me that they’ve adopted such a hardline stance with Sarah.

    Anybody using a web hosting service they just adore?


  10. Lanooz said on August 27, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Same as ^jody. I’m on Dreamhost for about 2 years. And I value their support really good. They answer mi immediately, even if they don’t the reason of a problem.
    I feel like Dreamhost really care about their customers.

    but I already heard that kind of news. It’s just “casual” in every company. It’s not that “dreamhost is bad” and “stay away from it”.
    Do not judge them too fast.

  11. jody said on August 27, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    I’ve been with Dreamhost for over two years without a major problem. I read such horror stories about ALL shared-server host providers so I don’t think dreamhost’s situation is unique; however, my experience has been the opposite of Sarah’s – quick support response times and no hosting problems. I do think the review that Jojo posted above is accurate.

    I think a blanket statement about staying away from Dreamhost is a bit unfair, although I’d probably think the same if I experienced a similar problem.

  12. Jojo said on August 27, 2008 at 10:18 am

    You might check out the review of Dreamhost here:

  13. Transcontinental said on August 27, 2008 at 10:09 am

    “I wonder why all those companies shoot first”.
    I’d say, because they are dishonest. And stupid, (which often goes together) since they are breaking their own business as well.

  14. Marc said on August 27, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Dreamhost … Seems like a nightmare to me!

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